Setting Sail on the Schooner American Eagle
Leaving Rockland Harbor, we sail across Penobscot Bay. There is no set itinerary and each day Captain Foss wonders, “Where shall the winds take us today?”
Woke to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Performed morning stretches to an audience of gulls. Watched a lobsterman haul his traps while a winter wren sang to me from the shore. It’s a peaceful Maine morning. Worked off breakfast with a row in the harbor. One passenger dares another to jump in the icy water. There’s one in the drink, then another, and another until there are ten in the water, howling like kids. The breeze comes up. Captain John says it’s time to get underway. We hoist the sails, break out the anchor, and go about the silent business of moving by the wind.
Made it through Eggemoggin Reach under full sail and dropped anchor in Pretty Marsh Harbor on Mount Desert Island. John admits we have no set itinerary. Every day is different, depending on the wind and weather. Today is picture-perfect. Shore trips for beachcombing and exploring. There’s another schooner in the harbor, and we organize a party to row over and say hello. The American Eagle gleams in the afternoon sun, her brightwork sparkling. Return to the ship for drinks and conversation.
We celebrate the balmy weather by eating supper on deck. The food is delicious and plentiful, with local fish, vegetables, and home made breads. There’s ice cream sundaes for dessert – we made the ice cream ourselves! After dinner chores include drying and stacking the dishes. Later, we watch the sun set and listen to the loons in the harbor. At night John reads us a story about the sea, and we’re ready for bed. My friend and I plan to sleep on deck under a canopy of stars.